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Investment Pool for Chicago Booth's New Venture Challenge Jumps to $1.73 Million

06/11/2021 | 02:09pm EDT

The record investment pool in the 25th annual Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC) jumped to $1.73 million this week after investors put additional money into the finalist teams.

The award from the NVC, a program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business that is run by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, is the largest in the nation among business school student startup competitions.

The 12 finalist teams received $1.6 million in investment on the day of the finals June 3, a record for the contest and a major increase from last year’s investment total of $1 million.

Another $130,000 rolled in during the week that followed, in part as a result of a Second Look event debuted at the request of investors who didn’t participate as finals judges.

Funding for startups competing in the NVC has grown markedly over the past several years. Just five years ago, the NVC investment pool totaled $285,000.

The first-place winner this year, Andes STR, which helps people invest in short-term rental properties, received $681,000 in investment.

Find the complete list of winners here.

The NVC, founded in 1996, ranks as a top seed accelerator, alongside Techstars and Y Combinator. It is both a credit-bearing MBA class at Chicago Booth as well as a business plan competition.

Nearly 370 companies that went through the NVC are still active and thriving today, including household names such as Grubhub, Simple Mills and Braintree/Venmo. They have raised more than $1.2 billion, achieved $8.5 billion in mergers and exits and created more than 13,300 jobs.

About the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation applies world-class business expertise from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business to bring new ideas and breakthrough innovations to market. With a 60-person professional staff, the Polsky Center drives the creation of new ventures and commercial partnerships at the University of Chicago and beyond. As a global leader in entrepreneurship education, the Polsky Center is home of the Edward L. Kaplan, '71, New Venture Challenge, one of the top accelerator programs in the nation. The Polsky Center provides training for aspiring entrepreneurs and those seeking a career in private equity, venture capital, and entrepreneurship through acquisition. Learn more at polsky.uchicago.edu and follow updates on Twitter @polskycenter.

ę Business Wire 2021
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